Somewhere along my parenting journey in Geneva, I went to buy scissors to cut my daughter’s hair. To the utter confusion of the saleswoman, I asked for “scissors for horses”. My daughter started laughing, the lady was still looking at me with her eyes wide open. You see, in French, the difference between hair (cheveux) and horses (chevaux) is small, especially to a non-native speaker.

Luckily I had my little one with me to help out. Needless to say, I was pretty embarrassed. All I could think about was what if that happened again, and worse, what if it was a potentially more serious situation?

Let me give you an example: my dear friend, whom I love to the bottom of my heart, gave her newborn baby vitamin D drops. All would have been fine if not for the fact that she was putting them in her eyes instead of the mouth. Just because her French was bad.


So, I tried. I did what I could. A few months after giving birth, frustrated at myself for not being able to communicate well enough with the paediatrician’s assistant, I packed the pram and decided it was time to enrol in a French course in my commune. The plan was perfect: the course was free, so I could use some of my budget to hire a nanny while I would focus on French. Sadly, due to my daughter’s poop, nap, and colicky cry, I was late and all the spots were already taken. Since all other options at the time were too expensive for me to have both a nanny and the lessons, I gave up.

I was dreaming about an online course that I could do from the comfort of my sofa, while my kid takes a nap. I didn’t find anything good, so I went on to imagine how my daughter will soon invite her friends and plan all sorts of cheekiness, without me even realizing. I didn’t even know the word for “cheeky” in French…


Luckily for you, that online course I was dreaming about exists now. Prêt à Parler is a Geneva-based online French school founded in 2015 by a fellow expat mama. She knows exactly what parents need and how little time we have to focus on ourselves.

With Prêt à Parler’s private lessons you can schedule your lessons whenever you want, reschedule easily (because sleepless nights, stomach bugs and all) and learn at your own pace. Your ‘Super Prof’ will always find solutions and adapt to your learning style and priorities, so you can learn, review, and reinforce key grammar and vocabulary points which are relevant to your specific needs.


Prêt à Parler does not only offer private lessons. You can opt in for their Premium Webinar Program (live French lessons in small groups as well as on-demand library of over 80 recorded lessons). These are perfect for busy people, as whenever you miss the live session, you can watch it online anytime you want.

There is also a fun and great online program called French for Everyday Life – it’s ideal for beginners (A0-A1) as well as intermediate French learners (A2-B1) who prefer to learn independently as it includes 200 lessons within 10 progressive modules. It was designed specifically for English speakers, with a big focus on pronunciation. The tips to improve your French “r” and other difficult sound the French invented, was created by the Prêt à Parler founder herself as Isabelle is also a professional opera singer. She knows a thing or two about diction and sounds! You can see her story here.

They also provide tons of free content on their website, Youtube channel and on Facebook. You’ll already learn a lot by simply following them on Instagram. These free tools are perfect if you need some time to decide if this methodology works for you.

My husband has been having lessons with Prêt à Parler and he is very happy. He saves time on commuting, has got more time for his family and his French improves every week! I wrote more about his experience here.

Being able to speak French will definitely boost your parenting confidence. Calling the pediatrician will not increase your cortisol levels anymore, you will make more friends at the park, and when the time comes, discussing your child’s wellbeing at creche or school will become a no brainer! Don’t wait until your kid starts translating for you, you can get there first.


Prêt à Parler:

Facebook: @pretaparlerch
Youtube: Prêt à Parler
Instagram: @pretaparlerch


Here is Smita’s testimonial, one of many moms who took French lessons with Prêt à Parler. There are more and more parents on their platform, all very happy with their investment. Take a look:

Why were our online services so helpful for you to reach your French goals as a working parent?

Prêt à Parler offers a flexible, practical option for working parents wanting to improve their French. Their website is easy to use and you can schedule your lesson according to when it is convenient for you. Online learning is the way forward and we have seen this on a greater scale during the Covid-19 crisis. Prêt à Parler was already ahead of the game by eliminating the organizational fatigue of face to face lessons and offering their excellent courses online.

 Did you find that your investment with Prêt à Parler was worth it? How so? 

The investment I made into lessons with Prêt à Parler was definitely worth it. I needed some French lessons to be able to pass the FIDE exam for my Permis-C – so I had a clear goal. The value for money I got in terms of a clear, structured set of lessons in the run up to my exam was second to none.

What would you like to tell busy parents who are hesitating to take a trial lesson with us?

If you are a busy parent and you’re hesitant to take lessons with Prêt à Parler please don’t be! You won’t regret it. They are a friendly professional team of people who genuinely want to help people learn and in a comfortable and secure space. You won’t find a better alternative so book your trial lesson now!

* This article is a result of a paid collaboration between Parentville and Prêt à Parler.

A weekend in Morzine with Emerald Stay

A weekend in Morzine with Emerald Stay

Holidays not far away from home? Hell, yeah! It’s especially great with kids, and especially practical in the times of travel-uncertainty. Luckily, Geneva’s location is a gem! Within 1h drive in every direction there are so many great holiday-destinations, one would need a lifetime to visit them all.

We have been offered a weekend stay in Emerald Stay apartment in Morzine – an alpine town in France, we have never visited before. How was it? Fab!


The buildings are brand new, designed in a modern way, with luxury touch and a cosy feel. Located 5 mins walk from the centre of Morzine, it makes it a great base for visiting the region.

But that’s not all. On the site there’s a swimming pool and a spa. Many apartments are equipped with a hot tub on the terrace. It means even if the weather sucks, the holiday feel is guaranteed. During the day just hop in the Jacuzzi with kids for some splash time – they will be thrilled to be in a swimming pool outside when it’s cold but without feeling the cold. In the evening, when kids are asleep, the hot tub is a perfect place for a glass of wine with a magnificent view on the sky full of stars!

The fully equipped kitchen, the most comfortable mattresses on the planet, and Nuxe cosmetics in the bathroom were the things we loved! The high-speed wi-fi was a feature we also appreciated big time, as it let one of us work remotely for one day (they have a special offer for remote working, in which they equip the apartment with all the things needed to work comfortably!).

emerald stay weekend in morzine


There’s lot to do and see all around in Morzine for families with small and big children, during every season of the year!

In Morzine itself, a stroll through the lovely town is a must, where a bridge over the gorge, with accrobranche structure undernetah is a fun site for kids! Not far from it, there’s also a great accrobranche parc (for kids as young as 2yo!).

If you’re up for an easy walk, Parc des Dereches is your place (strollers-friendly)! A lovely stroll, a playground, nature, and the mountains – fresh air guaranteed (and probably a relaxing nap afterwards, too).

There is also a lovely horse riding place, where kids can have a pony ride.

In winter, there’s of course lots of skiing, sledging, snow-shoing, and snowman building opportunities!

emerald stay weekend in morzine


A bit further from Morzine, don’t miss the gorgeous Lac de Montriond – the third big lake in the region (after Lac Leman and Lac d’Annesy). For a stroll around the lake and all-terrain pram or a baby carrier would be best. It’s a 3km walk to go around the lake. There are restaurants on both ends of the lake, mini golf on the end closer to Morzine. If 3km are not enough, another 4km walk (to and back) takes families for a lovely hike to the Cascade d’Ardent.

There are hikes of every possible level of difficulties all around. The best place to find the most suitable route for your family is by contacting the Morzine-Avoriaz tourist office, or the Emerald Stay staff.

emerald stay weekend in morzine


An activity especially appreciated by families is a splash time in Aquariaz – a tropical aquaparc. The water is 30 degrees warm, with tropical plants all around, creating a feeling of a holiday far far away. There are pools for every level, for every age, with water jets and slides. For the adrenaline seekers – the slide winder is a must! It’s so good, I know people who take a day trip just to spend there a few hours.


Obviously, one weekend was not enough to discover everything the region has to offer. The tourism Office prepared a pdf that lists all family-friendly activities for all year round. You can check it out here.


After the whole day of fun, Emerald Stay apartments are a perfect chill-out base. Fully equipped kitchen, super cosy sofas, board games on the shelf, and those bloody comfy mattresses that I now crave to have at home.

Climbing in Geneva for kids

Climbing in Geneva for kids

Kids love to climb! From the moment they learn how to move around they try climbing the furniture around the house. It’s a great sport that engages all the muscles, demands thinking, planning ahead, and provides tons of fun!

Recently, in Geneva and around there are more and more places to climb – both high walls with a help of the harness, and without any protective gear on the climbing blocks.

Here’s where you can go with your children, or enrol them to the climbing class.


Hidden in the industrial zone it’s the oldest climbing place in Geneva. They offer kids classes, family Sundays and are equipped in both climbing blocks (no harness or lines) and big climbing wall with security equpment.

Book your entry and enjoy! You can find all info here.


A great place with climbing blocks and a separate space for kids. They offer camps during holidays, wednesday classes and more. There is also a yoga room and a fitness room. Oh! And a drink/snack corner. Chek it out here.


To be open in autumn 2020! We’re waiting impatiently for this new place. It will probably be the biggest climbing place in the canton, with both climbing blocks and climbing walls. They will also have a cafe, kids courses, and all sorts of fun! Here’s all the info you need.


Probably the best for kids – the climbing block at the front of the room has been designed for them. If they climb to the top they get to enjoy a very fun wooden playground. They offer cold and warm snacks in the bar, yoga classes, camps, and lessons. In the other part of the climbing space there are more and more difficult routes but many of them kids can do as well, so you can enjoy a family climbing time. Check them out here.


Climbing space in Vitam is big and has a great part adapted to kids. In Vitam they only have climbing walls, so the activity is accompanied by security lines and a harness. It’s amazing how high kids can climb when they feel safe. Check it out here.


Another place with climbing blocks and a special part for kids only (up the stairs). They also have a restaurant and a snack bar. A great place for weekly classes or a one-time activity for the whole family. You can find all the info here.

October for families in Geneva 2020

October for families in Geneva 2020

We’re experiencing an especially cold and wet October but it doesn’t mean there is nothing going on. Below, you’ll find events and places that offer entertainment this month.

As someone who regularly gives ideas for family outings, in these special times, I would like to remind you: wash your hands, wear a mask, keep social distance, and stay at home if you don’t feel well. Sorry to be a party pooper. #sorrynotsosorry.

Also, please bare in mind that the situation is dynamic, the protective measures can change overnight. Events can also get cancelled. Always try to book a place, and be prepared for changes. It is no longer possible for Parentville to monitor all events and their possible changes.

Now that I cleared that out, let’s go!


For several years now, Black Movie Festival is accompanied by an autumn-long festival for children – the Petit Black Festival. Each month, in various locations in the canton, children can watch several short movies. Altogether this year they will be able to see 21 films from 16 countries. The chosen movies are great at opening a discussion on subjects such as ecology, difference, or mourning. You can find out all about the festival here, and see all the screenings date in Parentville’s calendar.

Sound and Light show in Bastions

Every other year Bastions hosts the mapping show on the occasion of the Wright Colloquium. Every evening for almost one month the facade of UNIGE’s oldest building will become a stage for a wonderful show. This year’s title “Maths et Brillant” (not a typo). It will take spectators on a journey through the beauty of algebra and geometry. The show will visit the Babylonians and ancient China, all accompanied by music. Each performance lasts 20 minutes, and it will be repeated three times each evening starting at 18h. More info here.


It looks like the Christmas season begins, at least in Schilliger (in Gland, Matran, and Plan-les0Ouates). It’s always worth seeing even if you’re not planning to buy anything. They are experts on seasonal decorations and every year they turn their shops into magical places!
What about the pumpkin? The big Fete de la Courge will take place on October 17th – a pumpkin carving workshop included! All the information about the reservations, and events in each of their shops are available here.


A new heartwarming association in Chene Bourg (easily accessible with trams), organizes meetings for parents of young children and playful time for small children. You can find out all about their events here on Facebook (and in Parentville’s calendar of course).

Potato holidays at MAH

Did you know that the origin of the autumn break in Switzerland comes from the need to harvest potatoes? This is why this week is also called “vacances des patates” (potato holidays). The Museum of Art and History of Geneva organizes activities (not a camp!) for the 8th consecutive year. This time everything will be themed around the circus. On the menu: acrobatics, magic tricks, balance and all sorts of circus craziness. The whole week consists of guided visits, shows, workshops and tales. There is also a planned visit to the cellars of the Maison Tavel!
The activities are destined for children as young as 2! Reservations are obligatory. You can read about all details here.


This year, the famous Marche de L’Espoire is taking a half-digital form. Obviously, it is not quite possible to do a 5k walk online, but they found a way to make it happen without bringing a huge crowd to the lake! All you have to do is to enroll, find sponsors (family, friends), download the special app and walk! The more you walk, the more funds you’ll collect to help children in Bolivia. You can read all about it here (availble in English, too!).


This month the kids’ paradise aka Maison de la Creativite is open all Wednesdays, two Saturdays, and the whole week of school holidays. Reservation are obligatory, as well as the masks for adults. It is by far the best place Geneva has for children – a big villa with rooms offering different activities that children can do however they like. It’s were creativity, discovery, exploration, and imagination can all meet to have the best time. To book you place click here. (All opening dates of the Maison are always available in Parentville’s calendar).


There is not one, but three new temporary exhibitions in the Natural History Museum! The reason to have three new expos at the same time is simple and magnificent – 200th birthday of the museum! It has been tested and approved by the Parentville team. I wrote all about it here.

Let the journey begin! (Nyon)

A brand new exhibition in the Chateau de Prangins, designed for families with kids 4+! Yey! Most importantly it is not a temporary event – it;s here to stay! Yey!
This role-play based exhibition has two different forms for kids aged 4-10, and those 11+. At the site, we are invited to imagine ourselves as an English tourist or a young chimney-sweep from Ticino, traveling around Switzerland on foot, by train or by boat. This immersive experience is different each time depending on the choices made during the game. Depending on the options taken, the course can last from 5 to 20 minutes per character!
Info: paid entry, opens on October 11th.
More information (in English) on the Museum’s website.


The UFO shaped building of the Espace des Inventions is preparing a new exhibition. They haven’t published much information about it, but their expos are always brilliant! The new one is entitles “Tic-Tac Tectonique”. Earthquakes are one of the natural phenomena that impress and worry. They are unpredictable and can be as fascinating as they are destructive. In a fun and interactive journey this exhibition offers a better understanding of earthquakes. It is reccomended for children of ages 7 and up.

La forêt, maison des animaux

A new temporary exhibition for ages 3-12 in one of Parentville’s favorite places – Maison du Saleve (15 mins from Geneva). Enter the world of the woods where badgers and foxes live together. The exhibition is filled with visual poetry, beautiful colors and interactive elements. Not to miss! Read all about it here.

And that is not all! To find out about everything that is happening this month in geneva (for families of course!), check the one and only calendar for family-activities in the region!

Simply, click the button below 🙂 Have fun!

For all working parents, and all others whose kids love/need an October camp, the selection of the top, the best, the coolest camp is also on the blog! Click below to check them out:

200 years of the Natural History Museum in Geneva

200 years of the Natural History Museum in Geneva

There is a museum in Geneva that all families love. In the past few years, it provided us with amazing exhibitions (eg. about dinosaurs, ants, predators, duck fleas, and more). The permanent exhibition is also incredible, with many gems hiding behind the glass. It is, of course, the Natural History Museum in Geneva! This year it is celebrating its 200th anniversary in a magnificent way!

On this occasion, the Museum prepared 3 temporary exhibitions – all of them worth seeing (more than once). Let me tell you a little bit about each.

200 anniversary natural history museum geneva

Bouteille à la mer 2120, Te Ao Maori

A mesmerizing, beautiful, thought-provoking and sad at the same time. This is fascinating instalation by George Nuku is a must-see. You will dive in into the underater world of plastic. Not just plants are made with plastic/plexglas – also the living creatures mutated and are made from recycled plastic bottles. There is everything: coral reefs, anemones, fish, and sharks. Underwater columns with ancient motifs and Māori images. Don’t forget to look above and see manta rays and tunas! The colours, the light, and the overwhelming feeling of beauty and dispear will stay with you for a long time.

It’s a great opportunity to show children the possible future, to discuss the usage of plastic in everyday life. But it is also an exhibition that will inspire crowds to reuse plastic bottles and make something beautiful with them.


till June 27, 2021
Entry paid (ticket valid also for the “Wildlife Photographer of the Year” exhibition).
Adults 10 CHF
Kids under 18: free
A visit-bookler for kids 4-12 availble in Eng and Fr for 3.50 CHF.

200 anniversary natural history museum geneva


200 years, 200 objects, 200 years of research. 200 reasons to visit the Museum.

It started as the Academic Museum of Geneva 200 years ago and since then scientists in the canton have studied minerals and animals (both those living now, and those extinct). In the result of this amazing work, the museum’s permanent collection is made of 15 million specimens and objects. 15 million!

For Museum’s 200th birthday the scientist undertook a difficult task of chosing 200 of this 15 million to present Museum’s accomplishments. Among them are specimens super tiny and big. Some are local, some are exotic. Some are very old, some are new.

Tresors will be accompanied by a program of Wednesday meetings with Museum’s scientists. Each Wednesday a different specimen for the exhibition will be chosen and discussed with children and adults. Watch out for the dates on Museum’s website or in Parentville’s calendar.


till June 27, 2021
A treasure hunt booklet for children available in several spots.
Free entry.
Bilingual French-English.

200 anniversary natural history museum geneva


An exhibition of spectacular images of all things-nature, for the first time in Geneva! It presents mind-blowing photographs taken by the winners of the 55th international competition organized by the Natural History Museum in London.

The captions are all in English, and I strongly advise to read them – you’ll learn about things you had no idea existed. One of the biggest surprises is the last section with junior photographers, some under 10 years of age! It’s absolutely awesome to see what kids can do!

till 27 juin 2021
Paid entry (also valid for the Bouteille a la mer 2120):
Adults 10 chf
Kids under 18yo free

You can find more information about these three exhibitions on the website of the Natural History Museum in Geneva.

Please note that the Covid-19 measures keep chamging and it is always best to check directly with the Museum for the current ones. At the time this article was written, the masks were not obligatory but only recommended in Geneva museums. The three exhibitions discussed int his article do not have a one-way direction of viewing and pick hours the distance is impossible to maintain.

Please, wear a mask, wash your hands and stay at home if you don’t feel well.

October camps 2020 in Geneva

October camps 2020 in Geneva

Looking for an October camp for your kids? You’re in the right place. Many parents have no other choice than to work and find a camp but this year there are also many who had to cancel their trips last minute due to this year’s chaos. This list aims to help you find the right camp for your child. The list does not include those camps that were full at the time of creation of the article (eg. Gavotte, Blackyland).

Ready? Let’s do it!

CampZone October activities at l’Institut International de Lancy

The October break is coming up – are you looking for fun activities for your child? Have a look at our wide selection of camps for ages 3 to 12. We have indoor climbing, football, magic, urban dance, coding, Bricks 4 Kidz, Arts, and much more.

Time 8:30 to 18:00
Full days or half days
Prices starting at CHF 275
Learn more and sign up

campzone iil october camps 2020

Plainpalais & Plan-les-Ouates

One of the best camps in Geneva. Kids can enroll for one week, one day, or any amount of days they need. During the camp they will discover different materials and create with them – create whatever they like. It’s a camp filled with freedom, where a lot is left to kids’ imagination under the loving eyes of 3 wonderful educators. It’s one of those camps kids don’t like to leave at the end of the day. During the summer Parentville’s own Z. wished she could sleep there and never leave the fun. You can find out more here.

recrecrea october camps geneva 2020

PEP English
Veyrier & Geneva

Pep English offers camps for children and teenagers to learn English through interactive and dynamic classes, covering grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation through fun activities.

Showtime: Learn English through play, preparing and making presentations, acting out and adapting well-known stories, singing, dancing and experimenting with English in context. 9h-12h; two groups (6-8 yo & 9-12 yo).

Rattrapage scolaire: to clarify and put in practice what has been studied at school.
For mid-school (cycle): 13h30-16h30 in Veyrier
For high school (collège) 9h30-12h30 in Geneva

Public speaking for teenagers: The art of speaking to convince, to entertain, to show emotion, engage interest, always with a clear interlinked English language focus. 9h30-12h30, Age 13-15, in Geneva


PEP october camps geneva 2020

Geneva & Nyon

Tu as entre 3 et 7 ans ? Alors viens retrouver les Ateliers Bulles d’air …pour t’éclater, profiter des nombreuses activités, faire de nouveaux copains…et surtout ne pas t’ennuyer pendant les vacances d’automne ! Au programme : Eveille ta curiosité…et découvre le monde des oiseaux, recherche des pépites d’or, visite un laboratoire ou alors perfectionne ta connaissance de l’art à travers des activités peinture, des expériences ou de nouvelles créations !

Nous t’accueillerons avec grand plaisir, avec une prise en charge sur 3 sites différents (Nyon, Genève gare et site de l’école Moderne, Rue de l’Avenir 10, Genève) et avec des horaires très flexibles…de quoi faciliter la vie de tes parents !

Viens jeter un coup d’œil sur toutes nos activités… en visitant notre site ou en découvrant notre flyer ici

bulles dair october camps geneva 2020

Spell Languages

Spell Languages is a leading language centre for kids in Geneva and their holiday camps are truly unforgettable! This autumn, your kids can be immersed in four languages (French, English, Spanish or German). 3 camp themes are on the menu: Dragons for 4 – 7-year-olds, Geneva Mysteries for 8 – 13-year-olds, and for all English speaking and music-loving kids aged 4 – 8 a special Pets theme will be animated in collaboration with Music Together! During the summer camps with Spell, your child will play, learn, discover Geneva and spend time outdoors in a small group of friends. Bonus! Forget packed lunch: there’s a 3-meal lunch option you can order.
Price : chf 450 .-/ chf 650 .-
Discounts: Bring a friend and you will both benefit from a 15% discount; bring two friends and you will all benefit from 20%off
Download detailed programmes  in the news section on their website:

spell languages october camps geneva 2020

Espace Colibri

This time Espace Colibri chose to organize the October activities (in French) around the theme “Can we change the world?”.

From October 19 to 23, our team of education professionals will welcome your children for a week of “yoga, philosophy and creation” around a theme that is more than present today on the directions our world is taking and the role we play.

Yoga and philosophy workshops every day, gardening, creation of talking sticks, reuse of materials to create new objects Also in the menu an outing to the new and incredible exhibition “Bottle to the sea 2120”, at the Natural History Museum in Geneva.

Possibility to register for the whole week or fays of your choice (full days and half days possible). You can find out more at

espace colibri october camps geneva 2020


TotUP- bilingual day care and school offers a great Ocrober camp for kids from 3 to 8 years old! This year TotUP invites the kids to go in a world tour! Kids will discover different continents, will taste different cuisine, participate in multiple cooking workshops and do lot’s of sport & creative activities! 
Please note that this year the camp is avaliable in GE (Petit Lancy) & VD (Epalinges) 
350 CHF / week from 7:00-14:30
500 CHF / week from 7:00-19:00 


totup october camps



A camp is one of the best experiences children can have! At Kids Time Club, your child will meet new friends and create great memories that they will never forget. With our bilingual program, they will experience activities such as yoga, move your body, zumba, music, art, science and more. Also, they will be amazed by our incredible indoor playground where they will learn while having fun!

For ages 4-8. Prices start at 275 CHF. Half-days only (goûté + lunch included). For all the details visit the Kids Time Club website or send them an email.

PEP october camps geneva 2020

Plainpalais area

Let your children explore the unimaginable capabilities of their brain! During the AMAKids Mental Arithmetic October Camp, children will get acquainted with the ABACUS – an ancient Japanese calculator, which will help train the brain in a fun way! 

The AMAKids program aims to: improve the speed of perceiving and processing ANY information; develop a simultaneous operation of both hemispheres of the brain, improve concentration, boost self – esteem, improve photographic memory.

AMAKids is a global leading mental arithmetic academy with more than 300’000 students worldwide. We guarantee that your child will enjoy our camp and will want to continue with the afterschool activity that we offer! For more information contact AMAKIDS via their Facebook page or website.

amakids october camps geneva 2020

The camps presented above were carefully selected by Parentville. The organizers were all contacted with a proposition to promote their camps at Parentville. The section above includes paid promotions, the section below free promotion. Please, understand that Parentville needs starts generating some income – bloggers have bills to pay, too.


Gymboree (Grand-Saconnex) offers half and full day camps for 3-6 year olds. You can check out the info here, or enroll here.

Addict Lab (Ferney Voltaire) – fascinating camps based on STEM and Arts activities. Half days and full days in Ferney Voltaire (France). Check it out here.


Espace Opera (Eaux-Vives), for kids as young as 3. They offer a week full of performance-related fun. Click here to know more.


Kids Up (Meyrin) specialises in circus gymnastics. You can choose between half days and full days for kids ages 4 and up. More info here.


Simply Theatre (Versoix) – theatre in English for kids in Vesroix. Check it out here

September 2020 for families in Geneva

September 2020 for families in Geneva

Despite the uncertainty of the Covid-19 situation, it looks like for now, many events are taking place in September. Some are well known, many are already beloved by Geneva families. Bear in mind, that due to Covid-19 restrictions, most events have participants limits, can be cancelled at the last minute, and require prior booking.

Just as a reminder, so that we can all stay safe:

  • if you or anyone in your household is not feeling 100% well – stay at home.
  • wear the mask properly (cover your mouth AND nose),
  • disinfect your hands frequently, especially when out and about.

Now, let’s have some fun!

Throughout the month, various locations.

Le Petit Black Movie is the Black Movie Festival for kids. It takes place every year From September till December. Every month, in various locations across the canton, a different theme of short movies is screened. Depending on the month, kids will watch 5-7 short movies from around the world. Many communes are involved, so there is a chance you’ll find screenings in your neighborhood. Find out more here.

Journees du patrimoine
12-13 September, Various locations

The 27th Swiss edition of the EHD takes place the 2nd weekend of September. In Geneva, expert guides will be mobilized on the weekend of September 12 and 13 to introduce visitors to many prestigious sites around the theme “Verticality”. It’s an opportunity to visit many fascinating, normally closed, places. Browse through their program to find something that will make the weekend fun!

September 26th & 27th, Plan-les-Ouates

Workshops, board games, skill games, giant games, space for teens and 0-4 years old, but also shows (theater, magic, music) and a merry-go-round. Full schedule to come. The entry is free. A bit more info here.

September 19th & 20th; Ferme de la Gavotte

Polyjuniors is a festival for families. It brings together local companies and service providers to showcase their novelties and share their worlds through activities. Fun and educational workshops for kids to discover, as well as bouncy castles, and poney rides. Many ideas and practical solutions await parents, too. In program: entertainment, games, shows, sports demonstrations and more. Check it out here.

September 26, Parc des Bastions

The festival is the opportunity to get to know the local initiatives that contribute to the reduction of the climate change. Sustainibility, ecology, everything-bio, and so much more. There will also be many stands for parents, and some fun for kids! Check the program here.


The activities at the Cateau du Vullierens are always good, but this autumn it all loks incredible! There will be many Wednesday and weekend events, open-air cinema, and a truly wonderful show “Alice au Jardin des Merveilles”. You can check all the upcoming events at the Chateau in Parentville’s agenda – just click here.

Maison de la Creativite
Wednesdays and Saturdays, Conches

Finally! The most amaizng place for children in Geneva has finally opened it’s door after months of closure (due to Covid restrictions). This is a magic villa, where every room offers a different activity – in every room children can do whatever they want, use the objects and material in any way they wish. Isn’t it how childhood should look like? Because of the restrictions a prior booking is required. Simply visit their website for more details.

Mon-Thursday, various locations

Summer holidays are over but the Ludobbus is still rolling! A perfect activity with little ones, with lots of toys, games, and sports equipment. You can check its location and dates in Parentville’s calendar.

There are many other events, shows, and concerts for children of all ages happining this month. You can see them all in Parentville’s events agenda, by clicking the button below.

The last taste of summer (by Oksana – Nutrition Right)

The last taste of summer (by Oksana – Nutrition Right)

From now on, once per season (let’s see how many seasons will have this year), Oksana Petersen will share with you yummy and healthy recipes that the whole family can enjoy. She invites you all to cook with children using seasonal produce. For this last few weeks of summer (yes, it’s still on!) she came up with some crazy deliciousness! See for yourself below.



Messy Sweet Apricot Crumble

Apricots from Valais are in abundance now. They are known for the juicy sweet flavour & firmness which makes them perfect for a crumble. Apricots are high in Vitamin A, which is crucial for healthy eyes, as well as vitamin C, which keeps our immune system strong to ward off viruses.

Usually crumble is cooked using highly refined nutritionally poor white flour but this recipe uses much healthier wholemeal spelt flour. Spelt flour nutritionally is far better than white flour. When used in baking, it gives the final product very soft, moist texture. Spelt flour does not provide the same fluffy, light texture as a white one. You could mix 50/50 white flour with spelt flour to retain some of that soft sponge consistency, for example for sponge cakes or cupcakes.

Instead of white sugar, a much healthier alternative of maple syrup is used. The crumble will still taste sweet but without the post cake sugar rush.

crumble apricot

Serves 4-6


5 medium-size Valais apricots;

175g wholemeal spelt flour;

65g cold bio butter;

25g ground almonds (in case of a nut allergy omit the almonds);

50ml organic maple syrup.

Instructions for a child

  1. Wash apricots & dry them with kitchen paper.
  2. Using your hands open apricots & remove the stone. Throw away the stone.
  3. Take a large bowl. Add flour & butter. Using your hands rub the butter into the flour until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. It takes a little bit of time.
  4. Into the bowl with “breadcrumbs” add almonds & syrup. Using a big spoon, stir until all the ingredients are well mixed. Taste a little bit & if it is not sweet enough add a little bit more of maple syrup.
  5. Take the baking tray, using our hands scatter apricots chunks onto the bottom of the tray.
  6. Take a big spoon, sprinkle the “breadcrumbs” mixture over apricots, making sure all apricots are covered.

Instructions for a parent

  1. Cut apricots into small chunks.
  2. Weight the flour, butter, ground almonds & maple syrup in different containers.
  3. Diced the butter.
  4. Preheat oven to 180deg c/ 160deg c Fan / Gas 4.
  5. Graze the baking tray with butter.
  6. Bake for abt 30mins.

Serving suggestions:

when the crumble is hot, add a bit of vanilla ice cream to a serving portion. A spoon of Gruyere cream is also delicious with the crumble. A homemade custard makes this treat even tastier.

Super Easy Fresh Tomatoes Pesto

Tomato sauce is definitely a kids favourite. We don’t, however, need to either used canned tomatoes or spend time by the stove cooking it to receive a delicious tomato sauce. Here is a Super Easy Fresh Tomatoes Pesto made in minutes. It can be kept in a fridge for a day to save you time.

Fresh cherry tomatoes make pesto really juicy & full of flavour. The chives & fresh basil complement the taste & also give it a yummy smell. Check out Serving suggestions to find out how this pesto might become your favourite sauce this summer.
What kid doesn’t like to use a kitchen gadget that makes a noise?! So prepare blender, food processor or a bullet to have your little ones have fun.

pesto tomato

This recipe makes about 1 large muesli bowl.


500gr cherry tomatoes,(mix red, orange & yellow ones for more colour);

1 clove garlic;

½ handful of chives (or a small onion);

6 fresh basil leaves;

½ tsp salt;

2tbsp olive oil;

2-3 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Instructions for a child

  1. Wash cherry tomatoes, chives & basil leaves & dry them with kitchen paper.
  2. Into the blender put garlic, salt, basil leaves, tomatoes, chives, salt, Parmesan cheese & olive oil.
  3. Mix on full power until the tomatoes are tiny bits.

Instructions for a parent:

  1. Prepare a blender, food processor or a bullet.
  2. Peel garlic glove.
  3. Grate Parmesan.

Serving suggestions

Use it as a sauce for pasta or rice. Add some mozzarella or mix some soft goats cheese & either add it to pasta or spread the mix on a piece of bread. A great accompaniment to a picnic basket as pesto can be used as a dip for any raw veggies, a topping on a loaf of bread or a sauce for a cold pasta salad. If you are preparing a BBQ, you can grill a few slices of bread & top it with pesto for your own version of bruschetta. If feeling creative, grill a few slices of halloumi & top it with pesto. P.S. lots of kids actually like halloumi because it is a bit chewy & lack any overpowering smell or taste.

Back to school – Geneva 2020

Back to school – Geneva 2020

It’s back to school time! Are you ready?

For many it will be the first day of school. In this article, there is something for everyone. You’ll find an explanation about the first year in the Geneva public school, lists of extracurricular activities, information about the Covid-19 related school rules, and ideas for Wednesday care.

Just a reminder first. On the weekend before the “rentree” you can go up to the school to check the lists of classes, and usually the plan of the building indicating which class goes to which classroom.

Let’s start!

The first year aka 1P

The first year of school is at the same time exciting and scary for children, but for expat parents who don’t know the system, it can be particulary anxious. Below, you’ll find a link to an article that explains many things.


Wednesdays can be put in a few words: kids’ paradise, parents’ hell. They love to have this one day off, especially if they can stay at home, sleep longer, and chill. But, for working parents it’s a tough day.

1. Your best bet is to contact your local Maison du Quartier to see their offer (but hurry up, the places fill up quickly). Other options include:

2. Up to the end of 2P, L’Eco Creche en Foret welcomes children on Wednesdays. They are in Dardagny, but offer meeting kids in Cornavin for your convenince. Here’s the link.

3. The Eco Creche in Plan-les-Ouates also offers Wednesdays in nature, for children up to 8 years of age. You can find out more here.

4. There is also Spell Languages and tehir amazing 4h creative language courses. They include outings, adventures, arts&crafts, and lots of playtime – all designed in a way that kids don’t even realize they’re learning a new language.Find out more here or contact Spell directly.

5. I have recently found on the web a place in Carouge that offers full Wednesday option: Les Atelier d’Alice.

6. It seem that Kids Time Club and TotUp also have options for the youngest students (though it is not clear to me if it’s for the whole day, half day, or just few hours).


The Covid-19 measurements for the schools have been announced and are accessible here (in French). The main points for primary schools in Geneva are:

1. No masks for children and they are not asked to keep distance between each other. However, you may want to see how you can find the best kids face mask in case circumstances were to change in the near future.

2. Teachers must keep distance between each other or wear masks. They should also keep 1,5m distance with children (with exceptions).

3. Parents can’t enter not only the building, but also the outside terrain of the school.

Nothing is written about the first day of school, so we will have to wait and see if we can accompagny children up to their teachers on the first day. 1P parents probably already got the information – fingers crossed you guys can enter the school! The same goes to all new students in all schools. Fingers crossed!


No matter if your child would like to practice acrobatics, guitar, learn a new language, or what not – as always – Parentville has got you covered! The article below will give you contacts to swimming classes, dance classes, STEAM activities, sports, horse-riding, and more!

There is another great resource launched by Geneva. It’s a website with plenty of activities, co-financed by the canton (so not as expensive). You ca browse, choose, and sign up your children online. Check it out: Ge-Decouvre.

Don’t hesitate to contact me if there is any place/activity missing from the list below.

after school geneva


E-book: School year does not have to be all overwhelming, busy, and grey. You have the weekends for outings, discoveries, day trips, or more. You can find lots of inspiration in the Staycation Guide. It was designed for summer, but the truth is most places are available all year long, and hikes are best in autumn. You can download it here (you decide how much you’d like to pay).

Calendar: You can also check for events, activities, and festivals in Parentville’s events calendar (in case of another semi-lockdown it will be again filled with online events).

Instagram: Parentville is and will share ideas and outings inspirations on Instagram. Follow us here.

Summer in Geneva with kids & the Staycation Guide

Summer in Geneva with kids & the Staycation Guide

How long are you planning to stay in Geneva with kids this summer? No matter if it’s one week or eight, the Staycation Guide by Parentville is coming to save the day again!

Since its first edition in 2017, it has been one of the best-received summer helpers for both local families, and those who come here for holidays

What is the Staycation Guide

Staycation Guide is simply a downloadable PDF. It is filled with ideas for summer outings, day trips, adventure parcs, hikes, and (new in 2020) home activities!

It has interactive maps, links, and lots of practical information. It basically saves your time – Parentville does all the research for you, chooses the best places, and voila!

Get your Guide

Click on the button below and become the expert of family-friendly destinations in and around Geneva!


Here’s what has been told about the previous editions of the Staycation Guide (2017, 2018):


Thank you very much for all these research you are doing and gently sharing for the kiddos!

I love to test new places and try to talk about it a little bit in a far less efficient way you are! Just wanted to say that it is really appreciated! Congrats!


THIS IS AMAZING!!!!!! I would like to nominate you for the Nobel Peace Prize because of the anxiety you have resolved in my household for this summer. This is clearly a contribution towards world peace. Congratulations!!!

Your Staycation guide is so lovely! Have been reading and writing down some of the tips this morning. Such a great work!